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Company Block Energy PLC
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Headline Update - West Rustavi Well 16a
Released 07:00 20-Mar-2019
Number 3676T07

RNS Number : 3676T
Block Energy PLC
20 March 2019
 

Block Energy Plc | Index: AIM | Epic: BLOE.L | Sector: Oil and Gas

Block Energy Plc ('the Company' or 'Block'): Reaches Total Depth at West Rustavi Well 16a with significant hydrocarbon shows

·    Total Drilled Depth of 2,659 metres reached at well 16a following successful horizontal sidetracking operations

·    Significant oil and gas shows in the Upper and Middle Eocene formations with testing in the Middle Eocene to begin later this week

·    Seeking to increase the Company's gross production by 325 bopd and to add USD 3.6m of free cash flow to annual revenue

·    Follow-on West Rustavi candidate well 38, in close proximity to 16a, is primed for sidetrack operations subject to 16a results

Block Energy Plc, the exploration and production company focused on the Republic of Georgia, is pleased to report that Total Drilled Depth ('TDD') has been reached at well 16a ('16a' or 'the well') at its West Rustavi field ('West Rustavi') after the successful completion of horizontal sidetracking operations.

A TDD of 2,659 metres was reached after the well was re-entered and cleaned, a whipstock positioned at 1,932 metres below the ground, a build section drilled 205 metres into the top of the targeted Middle Eocene, and a further 522 metres (some 100 metres more than the original plan) drilled horizontally into the formation's reservoir.

Hydrocarbon readings derived from field interpretation of drill cuttings (taken in five metre intervals) and live oil shows on the shale shaker unit and frequent spikes in gas readings provide strong indications that the expected naturally fractured hydrocarbon reservoir Middle Eocene formation was entered, and that the entire horizontal section was drilled within it.

The Company is aiming for a gross initial flow rate of 325 bopd at the well, which would generate a free cash flow of approximately USD 3.6m and payback well costs in less than six months (assuming a price of USD 60/bbl Brent). Well 16a produced some 35 Mbbls when first on production during the Soviet era. According to Gustavson Associates (Source: CPR dated 1 January 2018) West Rustavi's Middle Eocene reservoir holds 21 MMbbls of ('2C') contingent resources.

Significant oil and gas shows were also seen during the drilling of the Upper Eocene build section. The Company has logged this section of the well, and inititial interpretation indicates oil saturated sands, based on Spectrum Gamma Ray logs and mud logs. Gustavson Associates (Source: CPR) estimate this formation holds 12 MMbbls of gross contingent ('2C') resources, and a report by Georgia Oil and Gas ('GOG') notes that the Upper Eocene formation in the neighbouring Ninotsminda and Samgori fields, operated by the Kura Basin Operating Company ('KBOC') and Schlumberger respectively, has produced approximately 1.5 MMbbls.

Block will start testing the Middle Eocene section of the well later this week by nitrogen-assisted gaslift which will draw down the bottom hole pressure to clean up the natural fractures in the horizontal open hole section. Testing will take around two weeks. The pressure in a second West Rustavi well, number 38, has been bled off and is now ready for re-entering and sidetracking subject to results at well 16a. Last month Block secured an agreement to increase its working interest ('WI') in West Rustavi from 25% to 100%, giving the Company full strategic control over the development of the field (RNS: 26 February 2019: https://bit.ly/2H1Eqt5). In addition to an estimated 38 MMbbls of gross contingent resources ('2C') of oil, the field holds legacy gas discoveries which support a gross ('2C') gross contingent resource of 608 BCF (Source: CPR).

Block is carrying out its West Rustavi operations in parallel with an ongoing multi-well workover programme at its Norio field, where the Company has a 100% WI, and where earlier this month (RNS: 7 March 2019: https://bit.ly/2Hs45KX) a significant increase in production rate to 60 bopd, a four-fold increase, moved the Company towards its breakeven point of 100 bopd.

Chief Executive Officer Paul Haywood said: 'We are delighted to have completed our horizontal sidetracking operations at well 16a, reaching a TDD of nearly 2,700 metres. This is a critical milestone as we seek to unlock West Rustavi's company-making potential and demonstrate our operational competence to our stakeholders and the broader market.

'Achieving our forecast of a 325 bopd production rate at 16a would move the Company well above its corporate production breakeven rate, generating total free cash flow (including both Norio and West Rustavi) of USD 4.5m per annum at USD 60/bbl Brent. In addition to our operations at 16a we have bled off the pressure at a neighbouring well, number 38, which we will swiftly prepare for sidetracking if 16a is successful.

'We also look forward to appraising West Rustavi's legacy gas discovery. According to the documentation the Company received on acquiring its ('WI') in the licence, the first well the Company plans to appraise flowed at rates up to 29,000 m3 or 1.0 MMSCF per day when originally tested in 1988. We are further encouraged by Schlumberger's ongoing gas drilling and testing operations in the neighbouring XIb permit.

'Our move to a 100% WI in West Rustavi gives us complete freedom to manage the permit's tremendous natural gas potential, which if successfully developed would offer netbacks of approximately USD 2.5 per Mcf. We have already signed an offtake agreement (RNS: 5 October 2019: https://bit.ly/2Y4Pj2n) with an established Georgian gas trader able to support our ambitions for the field.

'We look forward to updating the market on our test results at 16a and our broader development programme.'

Roger McMechan, Technical Director, has reviewed the reserve, resource and production information contained in this announcement. Mr McMechan has a BSc in Engineering from the University of Waterloo, Canada and is a Professional Engineer registered in Alberta.

This announcement contains inside information which is disclosed in accordance with the Market Abuse Regulation which came into effect on 3 July 2016.

**ENDS**

Further information

For further information please visit http://www.blockenergy.co.uk or contact:

Paul Haywood

(Chief Executive Officer)

Block Energy Plc

Tel: +44 (0) 203 053 3631

Neil Baldwin

(Nominated Adviser)

Spark Advisory Partners Limited

Tel: +44 (0) 203 368 3554

Craig Fraser

(Joint Corporate Broker)

Baden Hill LLP

Tel: +44 (0) 207 933 8731

Colin Rowbury

(Joint Corporate Broker)

Novum Securities Ltd

Tel: +44 (0)207 399 9427

Frank Buhagiar/Juliet Earl

(Financial PR)

St Brides Partners Ltd

Tel: +44 (0) 207 236 1177

Notes

Block Energy (BLOE.L) is an AIM quoted oil and gas company with a growing portfolio of production, development and exploration assets in the Republic of Georgia. Block holds a 100% WI in the producing Norio licence, a 90% WI in the producing Satskhenisi licence and a 71.5% WI in the West Rustavi licence, with an agreement to take a 100% WI.


This information is provided by RNS, the news service of the London Stock Exchange. RNS is approved by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a Primary Information Provider in the United Kingdom. Terms and conditions relating to the use and distribution of this information may apply. For further information, please contact rns@lseg.com or visit www.rns.com.
 
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